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Craven Arms, 89 Woodway Lane, Walsgrave-on-sowe

Alternative Addresses:Sowe, Foleshill
Craven Arms Woodway La
The Craven Arms. The white building immediately to its left is the Red Horse.
In 1844 an inquest was held at the Craven Arms. In 1879 this pub was sold by the Barnett family at the Red Lion in Walsgrave. The buyer was Ratliff's brewery, who held it until 1899 . They were taken over by Phillips and Marriott in that year and the pub, with a paddock, valued at £750. In the early 1900s the pub was run by the Chaplin family. At that time pubs were open all day and Sowe Wakes was held in the pub's paddock, now the car park. The Craven Arms stood next to the Red Horse on Woodway Lane. The Red Horse was demolished on the grounds of redundancy. They had stood next to each other for many years but with the demise of the local mining industry and restrictions on the numbers of pubs, one had to go. The Craven Arms was rebuilt in 1925 so it seemed appropriate that the Red Horse should be the one to go. It was also appropriate that William Jones, licensee in the latter part of the 19th century, should also have been a coal dealer as well as hay dealer and publican. Fred Horsley was the licensee once but I have been unable to find him in directories. He had a reputation for being a stickler for discipline. If you so much as held it (a pint) up to the light he'd take it off you, return your money and tell you to leave. There was also the fire. 'Not until Fred was ready was the fire kindled, until then the coal and sticks lay stacked upon the fire grate.....Larry recalls being chased from the pub by Fred, wielding a bucket of water, all because Larry had thrown a match onto the fire grate'. In the twenties the old living quarters were pulled down and underneath the floorboards they discovered an old and very deep well, still full of water. The occupants had to live in the scullery. The well had been used for brewing and it was blocked up at that time. In 1981 Mitchells and Butlers applied to Coventry City Council Plans' sub committee to have the pub demolished and replaced with a larger building. After a campaign by locals to retain the pub, the sub committee concluded that the pub should stay but granted permission for extensions which went ahead in 1982. In that year it was described as 'a friendly local. The pub has a cellar which dates back to the 17th century and has recently been saved from demolition'. A bagatelle table was installed at this time which must have been one of the last such tables in Coventry. The pub closed in 2015.


1845 - 1851 Richard Barnett 1861 - 1880 William Jones, coal dealer and hay dealer 1888 George Ludgate 1892 Charles De Ville 1900 - 1910 William Henry Chaplin 1910 - 1913 Joseph Pugh 1913 - 1922 Thomas S. Kemp 1922 Florence Clara Kemp 1924 - 1955 John (Jack) Harwood 1956 - 1963 F.G. Horsley (see above) 1981 Neil Roberts


1862-1864 Joseph Barnett 1864-1879 Hannah Barnett 1879-1899 Ratliffs Brewery from 1899 Phillips & Marriott, the Midland Brewery 1982 Mitchells & Butler
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